A FAR-RIGHT political party has announced its candidate to oversee policing across Bedfordshire.
Kevin Carroll, who lives in Luton, will stand for the English Defence League (EDL) in this year’s election for the county’s first police and crime commissioner (PCC).
An EDL spokesman said Mr Carroll, who is also co-vice chairman of the British Freedom Party, has “strong views on policing” and wanted to make the police “properly accountable to the law-abiding majority who pay for it”.
They said he would be campaigning for an end to cuts to the police service, a crackdown on drug dealing, for the police to stop manning mobile speed cameras, and for officers’ pay and conditions to be improved.
Mr Carroll has pledged to end “political correctness” and “two-tier policing” in Bedfordshire if he is voted in.
The English Defence League is asking its members for donations to help raise the deposit of £5,000 needed to field a candidate.
So far £533 has been raised.
PCCs will be elected across the UK this autumn, and will oversee policing across their areas. They will replace police authorities, which currently fill the same role and are made up of a mixture of councillors, magistrates and independent members.
EDL candidate Mr Carroll has previous experience of policing in Bedfordshire.
In 2009 he was convicted of a public order offence for hurling abuse at Muslims protestors at the 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment’s homecoming parade through Luton. He subsequently lost an appeal against the conviction.
The announcement that an EDL candidate was standing met with dismay from Labour party candidate Olly Martins.
“The EDL thugs are about the least appropriate people to run for police commissioner,” he said.
“The timing of Mr Carroll’s and the EDL’s announcement attempts to stain our celebration of a proud and tolerant nation as displayed by the Olympic opening ceremony and our Team GB athletes.
“But these fascists shall not succeed and in November I have no doubt that their nasty and divisive views will be consigned to the dustbin of political history.”
Among the commissioner’s specific responsibilities will be setting force priorities, appointing and, if necessary dismissing, chief constables, setting the force budget and publishing an annual report on police performance.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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